Harris: Siddle will free Starc up against SA

Former Australia fast bowler Ryan Harris feels including Peter Siddle in the side for the first Test against South Africa will give Mitchell Starc the freedom to let rip.

Harris thinks that veteran Siddle will provide stability at the other end, leaving Starc with fewer worries, and the chance to bowl as quickly as he can.

The sides meet in Perth for the first match on 3 November, but Siddle has been out of action for much of the year after various surgeries.

But he is fit now, and Harris has joined the growing group of pundits and players to say Siddle should play at the WACA.

Harris said on Melbourne radio station SEN: “I’d love to see Siddle get picked.

“He should have played more Test matches in the Ashes last year and he missed a bit of the summer last year.

“He gives the team that bit of continuity, he’s that guy who can bowl lots of balls in the same spot and build pressure.

“If he does that and Hazlewood does that, it allows Starc to try and bowl as fast as he can to scare a couple of guys, that’s what Mitch Johnson was really good at.

“So I’d love to see ‘Sidds’ out there, question is whether he’s bowled enough.”

As for the opposition, Harris feels his countrymen will need to be in top form to beat the Proteas, especially after their recent ODI series whitewash in South Africa.

He added: “They are in good form and on their last two tours out here they won. They enjoy touring here and it’s similar conditions to what they have in South Africa.

“(They have) some very good players. No AB (de Villiers) is a big loss but they’re captained by Faf (du Plessis) who did a great job in the ODIs.

“One for me is (Quinton) de Kock who can destroy a game and score very quickly. He’ll bat probably six or seven and it’s a good thing to have down the order if they’re in trouble or need to score quick runs.

“They’re full of talent, they’ve got the quicks. Rabada is genuinely quick, (and) Steyn, Morkel, Philander… all-round they’re a very good side and they know the conditions very well.”